I owe myself some work.
As I approach 30 (and I mention it every 20 minutes), this has become increasingly important to me.
I have called writing my addiction since I was 8. I have called myself a writer since I was 16. I decided then that my true life's work is to assemble words in ways that sound good and make other people feel things.
When I started trying to do that, I quickly discovered that it required me to repeatedly cut myself open and clean up the mess with lined paper and blog posts.
I quickly discovered that I did not like the healing process. Writing is work, and it is hard, and it hurts when you do it right. It is not like love in that way. But I don't think we write for ourselves. I think we write to make other people feel things, and to remind them that someone else knows them feels. At least that's what other people's writing has given me.
Creating space for other people to exist is a responsibility I did not ask for, and yet the universe keeps opening the door and standing on the porch like a southern grandmother, waiting for me to figure myself out so I can finally come home and act right.
I surrender. After 22 years of really trying to BE a writer, it is only now that I feel like I am.
It is only now that I understand that writing is not a thing I can ever put down, and if I am ever to repay myself the debt I owe, I must start in this place.
The "this is not where i thought i would be" place.
The "secrets is heavy and i never knew how much they weighed cuz i never had any" place.
The place where someone wrote "i want to be a wife and mother but i also want to keep my hos" on the wall.
The dim corner, where i pore over Langston Hughes and Lucille Clifton and Toni Morrison and Zora Neale and call on my ancestors to help me dam up my tears long enough to still read what's on the page.
That is the space where I can hang my chrysalis until I'm ready to be who I am.